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  • Playing Etiquette While Subbing

    Playing Etiquette While Subbing

    Q: While I am stoked that I have been asked, I am a wee bit apprehensive. I have been asked to be a substitute bassist for a classic rock cover and original band by the band leader. My current gig is as a bassist in a trio which plays punk and alternative originals. The slight... »

  • Incorporating What We Practice

    Incorporating What We Practice

    Q: In your opinion, how does what we work on when practicing make it’s way into our playing? I’ve been thinking about the best ways to incorporate what I shed into my “vocabulary.” A: There are as many ways to incorporate what we practice into our actual musical vocabulary as there are ways to absorb... »

  • What To Practice When You Don’t Have Gigs

    What To Practice When You Don’t Have Gigs

    Q: My question to you is this: what do you do when you’re not playing with a group and have no gigs on the horizon, particularly what to practice? Without a set of songs or even a style to give the context of what the bass should be playing, I find myself grasping for inspiration... »

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  • Dealing with Feeling Overwhelmed

    Dealing with Feeling Overwhelmed

    Q: How do you deal with feeling overwhelmed with everything you want to/feel you should be working on? A: I’ve written a column in the past relating to how to maximize your work flow and time management. I thought that I’d take a bit of a different approach this time, although I would encourage you... »

  • Recording Audio and Video

    Recording Audio and Video

    Q: I want to record audio/video simultaneously that I can easily post to social media. I’d want the range to go from solo bass pieces or pedal reviews recorded at home to live coffeehouse/house party “warts and all” mono live duo/trio recordings. I’d want to use two cameras for close-ups on the solo pieces/demos and... »

  • What Should I Play At Soundcheck?

    What Should I Play At Soundcheck?

    Q: What should I play at soundcheck? I always feel like I should be impressive or something when the sound tech says “okay, let’s hear the bass,” But maybe just pulsing on the open E string is enough? What’s your soundcheck agenda? A: This is the perfect opportunity for me to: a) make a suggestion... »

  • Finding the Groove Vs. Letting the Groove Find You

    Finding the Groove Vs. Letting the Groove Find You

    Q: When making music, i.e. improvising, making a song, creating a groove, etc., I find myself sometimes approaching it from what I hear while fiddling around, and at other times approaching it more cerebral, as in “let’s create a groove that has a flat nine in it.” I like to call these the bottom up... »

  • Dealing with Focal Dystonia: Resources for Bass Players

    Dealing with Focal Dystonia: Resources for Bass Players

    Q: In the last year or so, I’ve started having issues in my right hand. It seems somewhat random but I’ve had a few gigs we’re my ring and middle finger have completely curled into my hand, and it’s pretty scary. I think it may be Focal Dystonia. I’m wondering if you’ve ever heard about... »

  • Focusing on Musical Growth

    Focusing on Musical Growth

    Q: I know you’ve written a lot about ways to invent new exercises and different ways to find new challenges for yourself, but sometimes I’m not sure what I’m working towards exactly other than just trying to get better. I suppose that’s enough but… any thoughts? A: Actually, yes. The big turning point in my... »

  • Tips for Being a Professional Bassist

    Tips for Being a Professional Bassist

    Q: I often wonder what kinds of little nuggets of wisdom some of my heroes have that would help us mortal bassists in the trenches. Things we don’t even know that we should know, or wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn. It might be a weird thing to ask (me not having an actual... »